written by:
May 13, 2009
Originally published in Think Smaller

Palm Springs architect William Krisel entered the arena of architecture in the boom times that followed World War II and left in 1979 when the profession became “too uptight” as a result of lawyers and stricter building codes. During his illustrative career, Krisel, now 84 and still consulting, designed more than 30,000 homes throughout Southern California, including modern tract housing for the Alexander Construction Company as well as the House of Tomorrow, a futuristic house that later became the honeymoon home of Elvis and Priscilla Presley.

Racquet Club Road Estates by William Krisel.
Racquet Club Road Estates by William Krisel.
1 / 12
La Jolla Scenic Heights by William Krisel.
La Jolla Scenic Heights by William Krisel.
2 / 12
La Jolla Pacifica by William Krisel.
La Jolla Pacifica by William Krisel.
3 / 12
Home Show House by William Krisel.
Home Show House by William Krisel.
4 / 12
Corbin Palms by William Krisel.
Corbin Palms by William Krisel.
5 / 12
Twin Palms by William Krisel.
Twin Palms by William Krisel.
6 / 12
Twin Palms by William Krisel.
Twin Palms by William Krisel.
7 / 12
Twin Palms Plans and Elevation Drawings by William Krisel.
Twin Palms Plans and Elevation Drawings by William Krisel.
8 / 12
Twin Palms by William Krisel.
Twin Palms by William Krisel.
9 / 12
Twin Palms by William Krisel.
Twin Palms by William Krisel.
10 / 12
William Krisel circa 1970.
William Krisel circa 1970.
11 / 12
William Krisel accepting his Walk of Stars plaque in Palm Springs, California, in early 2009.
William Krisel accepting his Walk of Stars plaque in Palm Springs, California, in early 2009.
12 / 12
Racquet Club Road Estates by William Krisel.
Racquet Club Road Estates by William Krisel.

Why did you become a licensed landscape architect in addition to an architect?
The architect should be in charge of everything. To me, the indoors and outdoors are not separate. I never practiced landscape architecture as a separate thing; I only did it on my own projects—just as I picked the textures and colors of materials, designed the furniture and light fixtures, and everything else that the architect used to do.

Who outside your field inspires you?
Music, art, painting, as well as traveling are my outside interests, but architecture is in everything I see, hear, or do. There’s no way I can evaluate outside interests except to relate them to architecture.

Is there a specific object that changed how you think about design?
I’ve always been told that the egg is something that can’t be improved upon. Giving it some thought, I agree.

What is your ideal project?
My ideal project is a tough challenge with a minimum budget and lots of conditions to be met. Design is design, and has nothing to do with dollars and cents.

Where do you hope architecture will be in 20 years?
I hope architecture will be known for architecture and not for starchitects.

What would today’s House of Tomorrow look like?
Reimagining the House of Tomorrow is futile; all it encompasses is taking advantage of every new gadget, from the kitchen to the bathroom to the lighting. To me, going back to more functional, comfortable, smaller places is the real challenge.

Join the Discussion

Loading comments...

Latest Articles

18
You don’t have to choose between sustainable energy and curb appeal.
July 19, 2016
jakemagnus queensland 1
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
July 06, 2016
content delzresidence 013 1
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
June 29, 2016
abc malacari marwick stair 01 0
A simple set of stairs is a remodel’s backbone.
June 28, 2016
Design Award of Excellence winner Mellon Square.
Docomomo US announces the winners of this year's Modernism in America Awards. Each project showcases exemplary modern restoration techniques, practices, and ideas.
June 27, 2016
monogram dwell sf 039 1
After last year’s collaboration, we were excited to team up with Monogram again for the 2016 Monogram Modern Home Tour.
June 27, 2016
switch over chicago smart renovation penthouse deck smar green ball lamps quinze milan lounge furniture garapa hardwood
A strategic rewire enhances a spec house’s gut renovation.
June 26, 2016
young guns 2016 emerging talent coralie gourguechon treviso italy cphotos by coralie gourguechon co produced by isdat planche anatomique de haut parleur1
Coralie Gourguechon's paper objects will make you see technology in a whole new way.
June 26, 2016
green machine smart home aspen colorado facade yard bocci deck patio savant
Smart technology helps a house in Aspen, Colorado, stay on its sustainable course.
June 25, 2016
Compact Aglol 11 television plastic brionvega.
The aesthetic appeal of personal electronics has long fueled consumer interest. A new industrial design book celebrates devices that broke the mold.
June 25, 2016
modern backyard deck ipe wood
An angled deck transforms a backyard in Menlo Park, California, into a welcoming gathering spot.
June 24, 2016
dscf5485 1
Today, we kicked off this year’s annual Dwell on Design at the LA Convention Center, which will continue through Sunday, June 26th. Though we’ve been hosting this extensive event for years, this time around is particularly special.
June 24, 2016
under the radar renovation napa
Two designers restore a low-slung midcentury gem in Napa, California, by an unsung Bay Area modernist.
June 24, 2016
Exterior of Huneeus/Sugar Bowl Home.
San Francisco–based designer Maca Huneeus created her family’s weekend retreat near Lake Tahoe with a relaxed, sophisticated sensibility.
June 24, 2016
light and shadow bathroom walnut storage units corian counter vola faucet
A Toronto couple remodel their home with a special emphasis on a spacious kitchen and a material-rich bathroom.
June 24, 2016
Affordable home in Kansas City living room
In Kansas City, an architecture studio designs an adaptable house for a musician on a budget.
June 23, 2016
modern lycabettus penthouse apartment oak vertical slats office
By straightening angles, installing windows, and adding vertical accents, architect Aaron Ritenour brought light and order to an irregularly shaped apartment in the heart of Athens, Greece.
June 23, 2016
kitchen confidential tiles custom cabinetry oak veneer timber house
A modest kitchen addition to a couple’s cottage outside of Brisbane proves that one 376-square-foot room can revive an entire home.
June 23, 2016
feldman architecture 0
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
June 22, 2016
Blackened timber Dutch home
A modern dwelling replaces a fallen farmhouse.
June 22, 2016
hillcrest house interior kitchen 3
Seeking an escape from bustling city life, a Manhattan couple embarks on a renovation in the verdant Hudson Valley.
June 22, 2016
angular
Atelier Moderno renovated an old industrial building to create a luminous, modern home.
June 21, 2016
San Francisco floating home exterior
Anchored in a small San Francisco canal, this floating home takes its cues from a classic city habitat.
June 21, 2016
modern renovation addition solar powered scotland facade steel balcony
From the bones of a neglected farmstead in rural Scotland emerges a low-impact, solar-powered home that’s all about working with what was already there.
June 21, 2016
up in the air small space new zealand facade corrugated metal cladding
An architect with a taste for unconventional living spaces creates a small house at lofty heights with a starring view.
June 21, 2016
young guns 2016 emerging talent marjan van aubel london cwai ming ng current window
Marjan Van Aubel makes technology a little more natural.
June 21, 2016
urban pastoral brooklyn family home facade steel cypress double
Building on the site of a former one-car garage, an architect creates his family’s home in an evolving neighborhood of Brooklyn.
June 20, 2016
Modern Brooklyn backyard studio with plexiglass skylight, green roof, and cedar cladding facade
In a Brooklyn backyard, an off-duty architect builds a structure that tests his attention to the little things.
June 20, 2016
the outer limits paris prefab home living area vertigo lamp constance guisset gijs bakker strip tablemetal panels
In the suburbs of Paris, an architect with an eco-friendly practice doesn’t let tradition stand in the way of innovation.
June 20, 2016
amaroso40040
When a garage damaged by termites had to go, a studio emerges.
June 19, 2016